An Experimental Evaluation of Popular Well-Being Measures
Drawing on data from two multitrait multimethod experiments carried out in the context of the German Socio-Economic Panel Study (SOEP), this paper identifies questionnaire designs that minimize measurement error in reports of subjective well-being. Among the survey instruments most often used to measure well-being, the analysis focuses on three response formats (11-point, 7-point and magnitude satisfaction scales) and three modes of data collection (self-administered paperand-pencil questionnaires (SAQ), personal paper-and-pencil interviews (PAPI) and computer-assisted personal interviews (CAPI)). Results show that both the choice of a response format and the choice of a mode of data collection make a difference in terms of measurement error: The 11-point satisfaction scale and both CAPI and PAPI improve the quality of subjective well-being data. The paper also reports differences between response formats in terms of their ease of administration and illustrates that the choice of a survey instrument affects conclusions drawn from applied well-being research.
|Date of creation:||2006|
|Date of revision:|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: Mohrenstraße 58, D-10117 Berlin|
Web page: http://www.diw.de/en
More information through EDIRC
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Martin Kroh, 2005. "Surveying the Left-Right Dimension: The Choice of a Response Format," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 491, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
- Bruno S. Frey & Alois Stutzer, .
"Happiness, Economy and Institutions,"
IEW - Working Papers
015, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
- Willem E. Saris, 2001. "The Strength of the Causal Relationship between Living Conditions and Satisfaction," Sociological Methods & Research, SAGE Publishing, vol. 30(1), pages 11-34, August.
- Bruno S. Frey & Alois Stutzer, 2002.
"What Can Economists Learn from Happiness Research?,"
Journal of Economic Literature,
American Economic Association, vol. 40(2), pages 402-435, June.
- Bruno S. Frey & Alois Stutzer, . "What can Economists Learn from Happiness Research?," IEW - Working Papers 080, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
- Bruno S. Frey & Alois Stutzer, 2001. "What Can Economists Learn from Happiness Research?," CESifo Working Paper Series 503, CESifo Group Munich.
- Robert J. MacCulloch & Rafael Di Tella & Andrew J. Oswald, 2001.
"Preferences over Inflation and Unemployment: Evidence from Surveys of Happiness,"
American Economic Review,
American Economic Association, vol. 91(1), pages 335-341, March.
- DiTella, Rafael & MacCulloch, Robert & Oswald, Andrew J., 2001. "Preferences over inflation and unemployment: Evidence from surveys of happiness," ZEI Working Papers B 03-2001, University of Bonn, ZEI - Center for European Integration Studies.
- Willem Saris, 1988. "A measurement model for psychophysical scaling," Quality & Quantity: International Journal of Methodology, Springer, vol. 22(4), pages 417-433, December.
- Annette C. Scherpenzeel & Willem E. Saris, 1997. "The Validity and Reliability of Survey Questions," Sociological Methods & Research, SAGE Publishing, vol. 25(3), pages 341-383, February.
- James Steiger & Alexander Shapiro & Michael Browne, 1985. "On the multivariate asymptotic distribution of sequential Chi-square statistics," Psychometrika, Springer;The Psychometric Society, vol. 50(3), pages 253-263, September.
- Winkelmann, Liliana & Winkelmann, Rainer, 1998. "Why Are the Unemployed So Unhappy? Evidence from Panel Data," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 65(257), pages 1-15, February.
- Easterlin, Richard A, 2001. "Income and Happiness: Towards an Unified Theory," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 111(473), pages 465-84, July.
- Randy Larsen & Ed Diener & Robert Emmons, 1985. "An evaluation of subjective well-being measures," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 17(1), pages 1-17, July.
- Ulf Olsson, 1979. "Maximum likelihood estimation of the polychoric correlation coefficient," Psychometrika, Springer;The Psychometric Society, vol. 44(4), pages 443-460, December.
- Clark, Andrew E & Oswald, Andrew J, 1994. "Unhappiness and Unemployment," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 104(424), pages 648-59, May.
- Bernard M.S. van Praag & Paul Frijters, 1999. "The measurement of welfare and well-being; the Leyden approach," School of Economics and Finance Discussion Papers and Working Papers Series 071a, School of Economics and Finance, Queensland University of Technology.
- Kenny, Charles, 1999. "Does Growth Cause Happiness, or Does Happiness Cause Growth?," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 52(1), pages 3-25.
- Jeffrey M. Wooldridge, 2001.
"Econometric Analysis of Cross Section and Panel Data,"
MIT Press Books,
The MIT Press,
edition 1, volume 1, number 0262232197, March.
- Jeffrey M Wooldridge, 2010. "Econometric Analysis of Cross Section and Panel Data," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 2, volume 1, number 0262232588, March.
- M. Stones & A. Kozma, 1985. "Structural relationships among happiness scales: A second order factorial study," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 17(1), pages 19-28, July.
- Duane F. Alwin, 1997. "Feeling Thermometers Versus 7-Point Scales," Sociological Methods & Research, SAGE Publishing, vol. 25(3), pages 318-340, February.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:diw:diwwpp:dp546. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Bibliothek)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.